The Ukrainian-born writer was raised in Vancouver, and is now a fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas.
The award, which alternates annually between poetry and prose, is presented to writers under the age of 35 who have yet to publish a book. This year’s jury, composed of authors Martha Baillie, Omar El Akkad, and Ayelet Tsabari, selected Reva’s story from 171 submissions. In their citation, they state, “Set in Ukraine and told in the voice of a young girl, ‘The Ermine Coat’ is a deeply moving story of a family — two women who sew fur coats for a living and the daughters they raise together. With elegant, nuanced prose, brimming with beauty and tenderness, Maria Reva sheds light on the social and economic pressures of Soviet life and reveals the joys and fragilities of familial love, and the sacrifices we make for it.”
Finalists Khalida Hassan and Sarah Christina Brown each received $2,500. All three authors will be presented with industry mentorship opportunities.